Mat and Jo - Spinnovation NZ - Cyr Wheel - Diablo

Travelling all the way from Circus Kumarani in Dargaville, Mat is joining us to dabble in diablo and to perform and teach the wonder of the giant wheel... 

"...We are SPINNOVATION NZ...'" 

Our Roots from FRANCE, 
Our Heart come from NZ, 
Our Wheel from USA,
"Our Passion from around the WORLD "

With the roue simple everyone can find their own inner style, vibes, and peace. You can rediscover yourself, get fit, have fun and meet people through sharing of knowledge and skills. With that we were able to combine our gymnastique knowledge, circus art, and all kind of style with this new circus prop. The Roue Simple is for all ages and abilities. This work perfectly for a fitness tool or purely entertainment. The simplicity and ease of Cyr Wheel make it attractive and beautiful.... ! 

Tony Meltdown - Unicycle -

Currently ranked third overall in the world for mountain unicycling, Tony Melton is a highly skilled rider and holds numerous New Zealand and Australian titles. He has been the Australian freestyle and pairs freestyle champion for the past three years. Tony will be teaching unicycles and performing at this years event. 

He's current world champion in his age group for unicycle trials as well as the 10km and marathon [42km] unicycle road races. July 2008 saw Tony and two fellow Kiwi one-wheelers race their way from one end of Nova Scotia, Canada to the other in the world's first unicycle stage race, called 'Ride The Lobster'. Over 800 kilometres were ridden in 5 intense days of racing. The New Zealand Team won one stage and finished second overall.
Tony has unicycle toured through Laos in 2005 and over 1000km through the South Island in 2007. The South Island tour included the ferociously steep Otira Viaduct and four mountain passes. During this tour Tony completed his first imperial century (100 miles, or 160km), from Wanaka to Haast, in just over 12 hours. In April 2009 Tony rode 450km from Launceston to Cockle Creek on the East Coast of Tasmania.

His stage shows include very small unicycles, very tall unicycles, stunt riding and setting his unicycle on fire too. Tony has ridden up (and down) the steepest street in the world on one wheel and can even ride a unicycle with two wheels (no joke)! To date Tony has ridden his unicycle in a total of twelve different countries and owns 13 unicycles. 

Rewi - Poi, Club Swinging, Contact Ball, Djing - 

Rewi will be teaching advanced poi and club swinging and offering a delicious DJ set that he describes as 'Progressive-Circus-Funk-Swing-Downbeat-Fusion'.

Rewi Elffyre has travelled far and wide sharing his performance art with audiences in New Zealand and internationally. For the rest of his time, Elffyre lives in Golden Bay - a beautiful region of the South Island, New Zealand. Following a life-long calling towards performance arts, Rewi created Elffyre in 2011 to characterise his favourite aspects of performance. Play, self-expression, creativity and humour! Elffyre is a well-known face on the New Zealand festival circuit, and has been hired independently for festivals and productions including Luminate Festival (2010, 2011, 2012), Evolve Festival of Opportunities (2011, 2012), Homegrown Music (Wellington, 2010). Contact Juggling, Fire-Torches, Juggling and Poi are Rewi's (current) favourite performance props. Quickly realising that a spectacular show involves more than just technical skill, Elffyre combines his love of theatre and character with a high level of skill, to achieve mesmerizing results.

Frenchy - Hula Hoop - Frenchy Productions - NZ Hoopfest

Frenchy is the director for the Under The Spinfluence and she will be running trick labs workshops and offering fire and LED performance. 

Frenchy is an international Fire and LED Performer, Director and Producer, Event Organiser, Workshop Leader, Hoop Dance Teacher, Hoop Maker, Community Artist, Street Performer, Interactive Stilt Walker and Arts Practitioner with over 15 years experience of performing and events and 10 years experience of Circus, Fire Arts and Manipulation. 

Frenchy travels the world for her work - places have included the UK, Europe, the USA, New Zealand and Australia! Contracts have included Festa del Fuoco (international fire festival in Italy), Glastonbury Festival (biggest UK arts and culture festival), UK Hoop Gathering (UK based hoop festival), and Burning Man (USA). She currently project manages and tours with Highly Flammable - an NZ based fire troupe - and does Artistic Direction for Circulation - an NZ based circus festival. 

Frenchy is a contemporary hoop dancer whose style uses mixed pace manipulation. It's a unique, characterised blend of flow and tech - and always happens wearing a huge smile! :-) 

Zane and Degge - Juggle Brothers -

We have the pleasure of the company of these talented local brothers as performers and MCs for our instructors show on the Friday night and for teaching juggling workshops!

When Zane and Degge aren’t busy being brothers they perform as the juggling and comedy duo “Zane and Degge”. Together they combine to form a super passing team and after years spent around juggling there isn’t anything they wont through around.They are experienced entertainers who are equally comfortable performing stage theater, street theater or as MC’s.

Zane and Degge can perform a wide variety of props and routines, including club
passing, juggling, diabolo, giraffe unicycling, cigar box,hat manipulation and more.

They combine skill and gags to create both an amazing and funny show.

Harlow - Hulacination Hoops - Breaks, Folding and Tech Hoop.

Harlow is a fire, hula hoop and burlesque performer prominent in the Christchurch scene and has been performing with the hoop since 2009. She's performed in towns and cities all over the South Island and has been described as a "Christchurch goddess in the hoop." Recently she competed in Hooping.Org's international hooping competition, Hooping Idol, and placed in the top 10 as well as being a judge and audience favourite.

  Harlow's personal style is largely tech based and incorporates a lot of breaking and folding techniques as well as isolations and the exploration of movement. She has been teaching classes for 2 years and is excited to bring a unique hoop workshop to Spinfluence that is based on the foundations of her favourite moves and combinations. 

Ryan Walker - Poi - Christchurch

Ryan is a Christchurch based technically minded performance artist. At Under the Spinfluence, he will be teaching a beginners workshop on body movement with poi, and an advanced poi workshop on body tracing, snakes and isolated turning. The first workshop will cover basic turning, poi timing and direction, moving in straight lines, breathing and posture. The second workshop will cover many of the different reel positions around the body, different timings and directions and ways of transitioning between those positions, transitions between front and back planes, some t'ai chi ch'uan movement philosophy, and some examples of isolating the poi around the body while turning. Most of all, he hopes to inspire others by sharing his passion and knowledge of the art. 

Having had a truly wonderful time performing and coming to know beautiful people at Luminate Festival 2012, and Autumn Arena 2012, Ryan is super excited about meeting more lovely people, attending workshops and geeking out at Under the Spinfluence. 

When Ryan is not spinning, he is working on a computer based poi training system for his masters thesis. His interests include poi, multi-contact juggling, philosophy, fire performance photography, choreography, t'ai chi ch'uan, knots, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Game of Thrones, and feedback loops. 

Julia Harris - Pole -

Julia and her crew will be bringing 4 poles to 'Under The Spinfluence' for you lucky people to have a whirl on! Why not combine your favorite prop with the pole?! She will also be performing pole dancing in the instructors show!

Julia Harris aka 'Spinningjewel' has been learning the art of pole for 6 years and teaching for 5 years. She has trained under many international pole experts and brings a bit of everything to pole including spinning styles, chinese pole and a touch of burlesque / tease. 

Julia owns two studios in the Wellington area; Kaos Aerial Arts in Wellington and Kiwi Pole Fitness in Lower Hutt. She can show you how to work the pole with or without other props (hoops, canes, fans even roller skates). The only limit is your imagination! This is a great opportunity to give pole dancing/fitness a try.

Anna Cruse - Adagio - Silver Circle Community Circus

Probably one of the most unlikely acrobatics instructors you'll ever meet. Anna has decided to learn acrobalacing in her middle age and post a crippling spine injury and subsequent surgery. Her attitude is: "If I can do it, anyone can!" 

Having over 25 years of contact martial arts experience, including many years teaching and performing armed and unarmed martial arts and stage combat, medieval dancing and other performance arts, Anna moved into the magical world of circus, bellydance, burlesque and cabaret and currently co-ordinates the Silver Circle community circus based in Auckland City.

The living heart of Silver Circle is a weekly, donation-only, acrobatics training which, from humble beginnings of keen enthusiasts watching YouTube and saying "We can do that!", has grown into a vibrant community of acrobalancing, aerials, and stunt lifting and has spawned some very promising acrobatic talents. Silver Circle also have a number of associated professional circus, burlesque and cabaret performers who regularly attend to share their talents, recruit for shows and attract a steady number of people wanting to run off with the circus.

The class is a fun, physical, down-to-earth, and hopefully challenging, introduction to adagio / acrobalancing / partner acrobatics and how to keep yourself safe while doing it.

Having a real understanding and experience of peoples' different strengths and weaknesses, at all ages and levels of fitness and confidence, Anna will show you a variety of stunts to try so that you will definitely have something you want to show off at your next social engagement.

Benji 'Ninja Pixie' Hinch - Poi / Flair 

Benji designed the logo and marketing material and is the workshop Coordinator at this years event. He is a highly experienced flair bartender, spinning bottles round in cocktail bars for the last eight years! With slick bar styles moves and the more flowing style of freestyles flair, he will teach you all you need to get into the art of flair.

Benji will also be doing poi workshops, practical and theory woven together so that you can go away and make your own tricks yourself! Although he is relatively new to the Poi game, he has hit the ground running and after only 6 months, won 'Best Newcomer' at the Kiwiburn Festival Fire Idol. He is now the founder and president of the Victoria Circus and Juggling Club, where he is the primary poi tutor! He has been practicing relentlessly and will be sharpening his teaching skills especially for Under the Spinfluence. 

Fireyemz - Emma - Fire fans 

Emma (Fireyemz) is our assistant director and ticketing and accommodation goddess. She has been playing with fire for over 10yrs, she began with Poi but has developed a passion for fans, fire eating and stilt walking over the last few years. She has both performed in and co-ordinated a range of shows of varying sizes in New Zealand and the UK. This has ranged from Cannan Downs in the early days to a more recent successful summer tour with Highly Flammable. Emma is passionate about community and supporting local home grown events and artists. She is one of the organising crew for Kiwiburn 2013, New Zealand's regional burning man event. Emma will be teaching Fans, Beginners Fire and running a palm torch making workshop. She will also be taking care of all your accommodation needs.

Stephen Benge - Contact Staff and Poi   

Stephen Benge has been playing with fire for 10 years doing performances both in NZ and Australia, originally a staffer, he got woken up to the beauty in poi at kiwiburn 2010 (points his finger at Patrick Ablir) and went a bit crazy about poi , he now plays with most objects as long as they can be set on fire.

Stephen will be running some introductory to more advanced contact staff workshops over the weekend. He'll also try to organise a workshop for poi throws and contact poi at some stage in the festival. Plus he is always happy to geek out with all you toy geeks out there. 

Alanna Krause - Yoga

Alanna teaches yoga at community spaces in Wellington, focusing on non commerical, inclusive environments. She was trained and certified as a yoga teacher in India, and has taught and practiced all over the world, including Europe, Asia, and the US. Her style is hatha/vinyasa, adaptable to a range of yoga experience levels. She has a lighthearted approach to yoga, to make it enjoyable and approachable to all, while incorporating yoga philosophy in a practical way.

Alanna was behind the Yoga Stops Traffick initiative (, raising money and awareness through yoga to combat human trafficking in India. She is also involved in Off the Mat Into the World NZ, whose mission is to harness the power of yoga to inspire activism and ignite grassroots social change.  

Alanna currently teaches koha classes at 6:30PM Tuesdays at Aro Valley Community Centre and 6PM Wednesdays at 19 Tory Street.

Troy Janson – Rope Dart


Troy will be teaching beginner rope dart and serving sweet treats, coffee and chai for the event. After spending time in the outdoor party scene in New Zealand Troy shifted his focus to festivals and more recently found a calling in circus toys.


After years of searching and learning about life and the esoteric nature of the occult and ritual, skill toys and self expression have shown a surprising similarity to the underlying geometry and movement of ritual and energy. Not one to pass up such a field of understanding Troy started to learn Astrojax, Poi, Rope Dart, Hoop, Juggling Clubs and Staff in the hopes of making a tangible connection to the underlying principals of the universe..... or something like that.


Having only started playing with toys around Christmas last year as he has a high aptitude for learning and changing rapidly, new to toys but he has been in the scene for a couple of years, his passion for toys is only dwarfed by his passion for fire!!! in a good way I assure you.

Mary Weir - Russian Hoops - Slackrope

Mary has one Big Top tour with Festival Circus in Britain, and two seasons with Circus Aotearoa under her belt. She performed the role of gluttony in 'Circus Burlesque' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010 and in 2011 co-stared in a three person theatre show by Circus Monoxide with a former Cirque Du Solei performer and Circus Oz great. She has been teaching youth and community circus in Britain, Australia and New Zealand for the last four years, and in 2012 has moved to Wellington to teach at the Circus Hub. Mary comes to us with a host of Skills to share. She has performed: static, dance and swinging trapeze, aerial silks, rope and Spanish web, solo and doubles lyra, adagio, toss the girl, slack rope, bottle walking, hula hoop, ensemble clowning, fire and human statue. For Under The Spinfluence she will be running workshops in slack rope, intermediate - advanced adagio and act development 101.